tv [untitled] February 4, 2013 11:00am-11:30am PST
my name is terry frye. i've been a tenant in san francisco for over 40 years. the medium rent in san francisco is three and a half times -- more than three and a half times my income. if it wasn't for rent control and i'm so very lucky to have a section eight housing voucher, i wouldn't be living here. i could never afford to -- the section eight housing voucher, i'm paying more than the voucher is worth because the rents have gone up. i will never own property in san francisco but please don't tell me that i don't care about san francisco or that i don't have roots here. the condo conversion lottery was put in place for a reason. there's constant attack on rent control on many fronts. this is another battle. a few examples of how rent control housing is being lost, what about allowing academy of art to take over rent controlled buildings for student housing
and the thousands of units that have been converted to short-term rentals which continue to occur despite current legislation to curb it. and i keep hearing tenants will get lifetime leases. today is the first time i heard that those lifetime leases would be rent controlled. but supervisor farrell did not explain why they would have extra protection, more protection than they have today. what protection does it given them against an other than move-in eviction and what about those who have been evicted when they were converted to t.i.c. in the first place. i've protested many times in front of those places where people were evicted just to form a t.i.c. there. no one is against families living in san francisco has been intimated but not at expense of elderly disabled and long-term tenants and not at the expense of rent control. people should organize and fight the banks and we should build more housing in san francisco which is truly affordable, not 8
million dollar condos. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. i'm sarah short with the housing rights committee of san francisco. we oppose this legislation strongly. good public policy, i think addresses a demonstrated need. we've heard a lot of an h anecds today and heard people tell stories as t.i.c. owners of needing larger space or wanting to refinance but how many t.i.c. owners are underwater, in default, facing foreclosures. we don't know the answers and need to do better due diligence and see if that really is a problem. i imagine if you went to the assessor's office you wouldn't find that many. it's not a crisis of the proportions that would be worth the trade-off, which is an incentive for more evictions in a city where our rents are already skyrocketing and we have
a huge hoamsdz homeless problem. the other question i would ask is how many of these t.i.c.s after they convert to condos are then sold. we hear a lot of people up here saying i'm not a flipper, i'm not a real estate speculators. i believe them but those flippers, those real estate speculators, they are out there, believe me. and there's hundreds of thousands of dollars to be made from selling a condo after it was formerly a t.i.c. it raises the property value tremendously. no one can tell me that that isn't part of the incentive behind wanting to see this change in the law. so that said, if we really were to find -- there was some issue with t.i.c. owners in dire straits, well then i don't think this is the proper solution. again, the trade-off is too extreme in terms of the results. we're just creating a whole other problem where renters then
become displaced. and so why wouldn't we treat it the way we're also looking at solutions to other homeowners in foreclosure and facing financial difficulties, why pull this -- >> chair wiener: thank you. >> thank you. >> chair wiener: next speaker please. >> hello, supervisors. my name is jean, thank you for your time today. i wanted to piggyback on the what the last speaker was saying. i feel that this legislation faces a problem which is people in san francisco are struggling to have housing security. if we wanted to protect t.i.c. owners that would mean that the mayor's office of housing should create legislation to stop foreclosure. i urge you to familiarize yourself with emerging
initiative to. thr trying to pass initiative to keep people in their houses. i think this legislation just pits renters against first time and moderate income homeowners and will stoke the embers of civil rage that are starting to ferment in this city. i don't think you want that. so i urge you to really address the true problem here, and not just put aened band aid on a quick solution on the housing crisis that san francisco faces today. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> good afternoon. dean preston, executive director of tenants together, california statewide organization for renters right and also a resident of district five. i want to challenge this notion that i think some people have and some supervisors have, that you can claim to support rent
control, and support this measure. i think there is a more honest way to have that discussion if one feels that the loss of rent control housing is somehow outweighed by the benefits of this kind of legislation. but make no mistake about it, there are certain facts here. fact, rent control is lost on nearly 2,000 units if this goes through. that's not disputable. state law says once it's a condo, you lose rent control. second fact, not a single unit of affordable or other housing, ownership housing is created through this. so why are we eliminating rent control on so many units. i think there's a real concern that t.i.c. other than other ow. they don't exist in a bubble. the units that they are in were once renter-occupied units.
we can debate how exactly they got vacant for this occupancy. they were units that will at some point be renter occupied units again, maybe in a year, where people will sell and move, maybe longer but they will become renter occupied units if not currently. and they will not be rent control. the elephant in the room is the costa hawkins rental housing act state law that says you cannot have rent control on these units once they are condos and that's the problem. and fundamentally, when i see mr. sullivan with charts, i think that chart proves the point. if he's showing evictions are down because it's more difficult to convert to condos... >> chair wiener: thank you. thank you. >> ted, san francisco tenants union. i want to remind us all this is an extremely difficult market for renters right now where the
new dotscom boom arging well over 1230 a month, evictions have been tripling and it's a tough time for renters. the two most important laws protecting renters are the condo conversion law and the rent control law. and it will repeal units from rent control and it will convert -- it's exactly over 2,000 units immediately to condos. that's a significant number off of rent control into condos. it's sending a strong message to the real estate speculators that san francisco no longer cares about regulating condo conversion and it's going to be like the wild west and we're going to have an epidemic of evictions in the upcoming months and upcoming years. that said, i think it's true that the condo conversion process is broken. there's t.i.c.s that are unregulated, unlimited, there's thousands of them during the peak years.
we need to get them regulated and limited, we need to make sure we're not allowing unlimited conversions. i think the supervisors need to step back and look at the whole condo conversion process and how to make it work so that it both protects tenants and goes back to the original intent of allowing some limited of number of units to be converted to condos. right now, it's just unlimited, unregulated, and the system indeed is broken. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> hello. thank you for letting me speak my name is amy. i'm a t.i.c. owner. there rch no evictions when we bought our unit. my husband and i saved a bunch of money, did all the work we could on the renovations on the house ourselves, worked 16 hour days, worked really hard to make it work, and we're not millionaires, and the market has really changed. i know everyone else has brought that up. but someone that just recently
spoke said that, no one is foreclosing yet. well we have seven -- a seven year arm, and then that's when we are looking at foreclosure. we're not looking at foreclosure today. the interest rates are low today. in the future, with inflation, with other issues, we are not going to have the historic low interest rates that we have today. this is the only opportunity to -- that we would have to lock in those low interest rates that everybody else has had for the last few years. and so that's why it's different. we want to stay in the city. we hope to have a family, and we hope to send our kids to public school here. and i hope you think about not just the renters, but also the owners, and i don't -- i don't think there should be a war either. and i wish that the renters would understand, from our perspective too. i used to be a renter and i
worked really hard to be an otheowner. >> fernando -- with san francisco clearing house and have been a renter since 1992. as an affordable housing advocate i find it insulting that a proposal would be put that would fight against the diversity of this city and try to link it to affordable housing production. we are united with tenants with rent control and with those of us fighting for permanent affordability. if this proposal were serious about affordable housing it would look at the 550 units that are lost every year in condo conversions and compare that to the 200, 300 at the best of affordable housing that we build per year. you would see the nexus as the difference between that and you would say what would one for one replacement of rent controlled housing look like. and then you would look at what
the mayor's office of housing puts out and say for a one unit building being converted to a condominium you'd pay a fee of 175,000 or more to replace that unit as permanently affordable housing. a three bedroom, you'd pay a fee of 374,000. that might be fair. that might get to a nexus of one per one replacement. if you were serious about helping t.i.c. owners who are facing financial and mortgage issues, you would address that directly through those homeowners and the banks and the problems they are facing. if you were serious about first time home ownership and not speculation this proposal would have prohibited resales of condos within five or 10 years and put a limit to stop any kind of speculation. and if you were serious that this was a one time opening of the lottery, then this proposal would not lead us down a path of increased speculation on t.i.c.s by linking it to a permanent moratorium on any more
condo conversions. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> thank you. my name is lav inia turner, a small business owner in san francisco, and by the grace of god i won the condo lottery last year. i'm just here to speak out. i'm opposed completely to this legislation to charge and extra 4,000, 20,000 per unit, to turn condo. if i had not won the lottery and had to do this, i wouldn't be able to do it, i wouldn't be able to afford it. could i afford a condominium, i would have bought that in the first place but a t.i.c. is all i could afford. i wanted to be here. i was sick of that commute. i'm opposed to that and i want to say that if you want to -- common sense is what we need. go get the people who have been in this condo process longest, and let them convert. i'm sure you can do more than
200 units a year. they need to convert first and then everybody needs to come along that's entered. it really makes no sense to me that it's going at this slow rate. and the amount of money that it has cost us to convert so far, i mean why do you need a survey. the building was built in 1904 and hasn't moved. so to pay all this money out to surveyors and allzgñ?ñ? the peoe that we have paid out, it's pretty much wiped my savings out completely. sense approach towzñ?ñ?ñ turning people -- tenants in common into condos, andreñ?ñ?ñ? i'm againsts money. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, supervisors. peter cohen with the council of housing. we are opposed to this legislation in general because we believe that housing needs to be addressed through housing production. that is what our focus is. and as you've heard for hours
today the difficulty with converting housing stock from whatever to whatever, or from whomever to whomever is a devisiveness of pitting san franciscans against each other regardless of class or housing tenure. that's the difficulty, the negativity of this policy approach. but how we got pulled into this particular piece of legislation is when it was crafted as affordable housing strategy through a fee that's being raised. i want to spend a minute on that. it's a very nominal fee, in the context of what it costs to provide affordable housing in san francisco. it's infeasible for t.i.c. owners to be charged for what it really costs to replace a unit so even attempting to go in that creation seems to create a false reality that this is actually doing something significant. i think it was pointed out earlier the nexus study itself on this proposal shows anywhere from a 45 to 75,000 dollar value
increase when you convert from a t.i.c. to a condo, therefore a nexus for a fee could be upwards of 35,000, which is sounding like a lot of money if you're a t.i.c. owner but it barely scratches the surface of a foo cost of affordable housing. the the unfortunate reality of real estate in san francisco. we don't want this discussed as a affordable housing program the real issue is financing option for t.i.c. owners who through no fault of their own are in the situation because of the banks and that's a conversation we should be having, other than upending a system that's been in place for many years trying to find that balance point. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. before we get to the next speaker i want to call the remaining cards i have. if anyone has not turned in a card or wants to speak you can get in line. john bracken, andy creeger, miro -- wu, elaina ozark, quan
lee, ana lee, becky, mitch peters, brian heckman, casper, alex, gloria, joe zel, kathy michelle, and marie coons. i think those are all the cards we have. so next speaker. >> good afternoon. my name is cole, i'm a t.i.c. owner in district 5 for the past six years. before that i was a renter for eight years. i'd like to -- i'm highly in favor of this proposed legislation. i am a single issue voter. the idea that this is -- speculation is ridiculous to me given 85% of t.i.c.s are owner occupied. we are the people living in these -- last year, one of my co-owners had a life event requiring them to sell.
these are our neighbors and our friends. we went to look at the financing options available for a sale. it was just not feasible. we actually -- my neighbors, it was a three unit building, my upstairs neighbor and i decided to purchase the unit from them because we could not sell the unit. it's just ridiculous what the financing situation is -- forced us to do. they're our friends. what are we going to do. plan c doesn't solve everything but i think it does a lot for people in our situation. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name's cole, i'm a t.i.c. owner occupier in the lower haight. it's a three unit building with one unit that's occupied. if this legislation passes i see three things happening with that building.
myself and the other owner will have to get a good secure hopefully 30 year loan at 3% rather than the 6% we're currently paying. making life much easier for us, making it ease wh easier for usy in the city. the tenant occupied unit, the tenant will be given a lifetime lease. she's a lawyer, will have no -- enforcing that. the organization will get 145,000 from the quers. -- conversion. san francisco is famous for looking after its minorities. please give a little bit back to the middle and support the condo bypass. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name is gabriela, i'm a
therapist who works with my husband here in it san francisco, in the lower haight. we own a one unit and a three unit building and i'm a first time homebuyer and previous renter. i've dreamed about owning in san francisco. my husband and i worked very hard to buy the one unit that we own and i work close. we work six days a week, 12 to 15 hours a day. i'm in support of the condo conversions and i would not be able to see as many patients and provide support like i like to do and be the person i want to be. when we bought the unit in it hopes that in three years of being a owner occupied building, now it's been many years after and the length of time has gone out of our range to condo convert. we pay 6% interest and are not able to refinance though we've tried and tried as we know there's only one bank doing it right now and have tried for a
year. we're not taking away from the rental market and hope to support san francisco. we are unlikely to profit out of the conversion as there's significant cost in making the conversion nor are we taking away from rental unit as we're living in a unit. we want the pride of owning our home with middle class working people such as ourselves. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> thank you for your time today. my name is jeff, i'm a t.i.c. owner in district 10 and i've been in my unit for about five years now and was a renter 10 years previous. strongly in favor of this legislation. i like many other t.i.c. owners who have spoke today, took me a very long time and a lot of hard work to be able to own property in san francisco. and i been very involved in plan c and talked with individuals who are t.i.c. owners and can speak from personal experience that the majority of the t.i.c.s are owner occupied,
people like me who want to stay in san francisco and quite frankly couldn't get into the housing market now if we tried. so i'm strongly in favor of this legislation and i am single issue voter, and i urge the supervisor to vote yes on this. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hello, supervisors. my name is eric wu and i'm part of the youth commission but i'm speaking as a member of the public today. i am speaking in opposition of this legislation. while i see that a lot of t.i.c. owners, who have given their testimony today, will benefit from this legislation, i think this legislation would have long-term consequences in the long run. i think there will be more evictions and many more families would actually -- it would actually threaten the livelihood of families and youth who live in san francisco. so i urge you guys to vote against this legislation. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you.
next speaker. >> hello. my name is elaina or ozark. i'm a t.i.c. owner. we purchased in 2004. we've all owner occupied our units since 2004 and have no intention of renting the units out. in other words our conversion to condos will not take a rental unit off the market. we were 15 year plus renters. i was going to talk about how we are trapped into an adjustable rate loan. i thought our situation was so unique. i'm sure you've heard enough for today. i would like to summarize what a majority of t.i.c. owners seem to have in common. we bought just before or at the height of the market. we bought knowing we would have to wait to win the lottery but expecting that to take seven or eight years from the time of purchase, not 15 years. 15 years, that's half the time of a traditional 30 year mortgage. we also, and most importantly, bought at the start of one of
the most oddest financial times in u.s. history. in a sense we were in the right place, san francisco, but buying at the wrong time. please help this island of misfit toys by passing this legislation. help us achieve our goal of a fixed rate loan. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> my name is chester, and i couldn't pass up the opportunity to be in a roomful of t.i.c. owners, admitting on camera what a flawed form of ownership these t.i.c.s are. i will be playing this video over and over for years to come and will be laughing and laughing. clearly this discussion shouldn't be about facilitating condo conversions and the t.i.c. form of ownership. we should be discussing banning t.i.c.s altogether. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you. next speaker.
>> good afternoon, supervisors. sue vaughan with the sierra club. i'm here to speak against this legislation. supervisors wiener and farrell, i guess supervisor farrell isn't here but you spoke forcefully in support of rent control earlier in the afternoon and yet your actions contradict your words because you're attempting to chip away at rent control right now. our largest source of affordable housing in it san francisco. supervisor kim, you had great questions earlier, questions about the ability of this legislation to withstand palmer lawsuits. regarding parkmerced, if people, who -- if the people who crafted the deal to make the garden apartments rent controlled in perpetuity or at least for the duration of the current tenant had not been so worried about the illegal weaknesses of the parkmerced deal there would have been no need to create the 200 million backup fund to protect
tenants in case of court challenges and i imagine that 200 fund itself is probably on legal shaky ground. that could be challenged. so if the parkmerced development is on shaky legal ground i can only imagine this legislation is on equally shaky legal ground. there needs to be affordable -- there certainly is an affordable housing crisis and i understand people want to own homes, et cetera. but condo conversions are not the answers. and somebody earlier talked about the banks. i think that's a good place to start looking. thank you. >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. >> hi. i'm here to ask you to forward this proposal to the full board of supervisors for a vote. i was unemployed for most of 2011 and part of 2012. being on unemployment the state offered me mortgage assistance and i went through the application process only to find
that my -- was not eligible because i owned a t.i.c., basically. the mortgage was not federally backed. if i had owned a condo i would have been eligible to receive federally funded state administered help paying my mortgage up to 18 months. it makes me wonder what would happen if there were disaster in san francisco. will t.i.c. owners be out of luck while our next door neighbors can receive federal assistance, and renters. as a t.i.c. owner, my financing options are limited. as a condo owner i can get a fixed rate mortgage and save 350 a month and will give me stability and peace of mind, the same thing rent control provides tenants in the city. our t.i.c. is in district 3. six children live here. we work in san francisco and spend the money we earn playing and shopping here. we care about each other and pay taxes to provide services to everyone. in fact, my co-owners and i have
paid over $250,000 in property taxes to the city of san francisco since we purchased in 2007. in the same period of time two similarly sized tenant occupied buildings on our block have paid less than 40,000 combined. that's due to prop 13. we are san francisco's middle class and we need help. although we don't attend meetings in protest we still deserve to have the full board consider this legislation which will allow us to help ourselves. i also wanted to thank the people in opposition who have acknowledged our common goals and that we need help but state that long-term solutions which i believe we need in condo reform isn't going to help any of us. we're going to be forced to sell and dump this problem in new owners -- >> chair wiener: thank you very much. next speaker. i've called all the cards. if there's anyone else who would like to speak just get in line, otherwise this will be the last speaker. >> jake, i live in a six unit
t.i.c. in south of market, here representing our whole building. i really want you to support this. it's really important. i've lived here for 20 years. i was a renter for 13 years in a rent controlled apartment. i fully support rent control affordable housing for everyone. that's the issue here. not just t.i.c.s versus evictions. but for us, and i can't speak for all the t.i.c.s but we're all owner occupied, we've lived there from the get go, we're all single, we're doing this by ourselves which is rather challenging. even condo conversions can be hard as a single income earner. i'm a school teacher in san francisco. to biew my place i had to take a second job on weekends and during schooling. it not easy for anyone, certainly single homeowners. i hope you support it. it's important for us to have